How Principals Can REALLY Help Teachers Right Now

In these trying times, the role of principals has never been more crucial. With the challenges and changes brought on by the pandemic, educators have found themselves facing unparalleled expectations and responsibilities. Designed as guides and advocates, it is essential that principals understand how they can truly help their teachers right now. Here are some vital strategies for principals to support their staff in navigating these challenging times.

1. Foster open communication

Creating a safe space for honest conversations will make a significant difference for teachers. Encourage regular check-ins and hold staff meetings to discuss concerns, share resources, and address questions. In addition, demonstrate empathy and understanding by actively listening to the struggles that teachers may have both professionally and personally.

2. Provide relevant professional development

With a shift to remote learning or hybrid models, there is an immense need for appropriate professional development that caters to the current situation. Collaborate with instructional coaches and curriculum coordinators to offer workshops on distance learning strategies, utilizing technology effectively, and maintaining student engagement. This support builds confidence in teachers as they navigate new educational landscapes.

3. Streamline expectations and reduce workload

Acknowledging the high level of stress faced by educators during this time, principals can help ease some of that pressure by streamlining expectations and reducing workload where possible. Encourage collaboration among teachers, provide clear guidelines on lesson planning, and refrain from adding unnecessary tasks or meetings.

4. Check on mental health and well-being

Recognize that teachers face an enormous amount of pressure right now – both inside and outside the classroom – making it essential to check on their mental health. Offering resources such as access to counseling services or wellness workshops demonstrates genuine care for their well-being.

5. Advocate for resources and support

Principals should maintain open lines of communication with district-level leaders in order to advocate for necessary resources that support quality teaching. From technology devices for distance learning to ample funding for campus-based activities, collaborating with the district can have meaningful impacts on the teaching and learning environment.

6. Celebrate successes and show appreciation

It’s crucial for principals to acknowledge and celebrate even the smallest accomplishments right now. A simple but heartfelt “thank you” can go a long way in lifting the spirits of a teacher feeling overwhelmed. Show gratitude and shine a light on their achievements, making sure teachers feel appreciated for their dedication and hard work.

In conclusion, as times change, so must the support provided by school leaders. By maintaining open communication, providing relevant professional development and mental health support, and celebrating successes, principals can come together with teachers to build an enriching and safe learning environment for every student.

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